Scottish Independence: would it change the outcome of the 2015 General Election?
With six months to go until Scotland goes to the polls to decide on its future, the suggestion has emerged from legal experts that a Yes vote could plunge the 2015 General Election into chaos because Scottish MPs would be expelled from the House of Commons on the day Scotland becomes an independent country in 2016.
Whether or not such chaos materialises, the psephological impact on the rest of the UK has been the subject of much speculation. Would it, some ask, make it impossible for Labour ever to win an election again?
In order to begin to understand its impact we decided to re-run our voting intention tables from this weekend with Scotland excluded from the calculations. Now this is only one poll, and it excludes of course the psychological impact on voters in England and Wales of Scotland rowing its own boat. But it does suggest that those who argue an independent Scotland would somehow herald Conservative Westminster rule in perpetuity are talking tosh.
As can be seen below, the only statistically significant variance caused by removing Scotland from this weekend’s voting intention poll concerns ‘Other’ parties – because the SNP is removed. Otherwise, Labour’s vote share actually goes up by one percent, together with that of the Conservatives and UKIP. Of course, the electoral consequences for the Conservatives in general, and for David Cameron in particular, of presiding over the break-up of the Union are not factored in here. But, on the face of it, the impact of Scottish independence on the political landscape for the rest of the United Kingdom may well be less than many people think.
Westminster Voting Intention:
Con 32% 33%
Lab 35% 36%
LD 9% 9%
UKIP 16% 17%
Other 8% 5%